We are incredibly excited to announce the new members (above) of our Advisory Committee of People Living with HIV/AIDS. The Advisory Committee will play an essential role in supporting the work of the OAN. Over the coming year, we will seek their guidance on the implementation of the OAN’s MEPA (meaningful engagement of people living with HIV/AIDS) frameworks, the renewal of the Ontario Accord, and the expansion of the Positive Leadership Development Institute Ontario program. This Committee also serves an important function in helping the OAN to identify pressing issues affecting Ontarians living with HIV or AIDS and informing our response.

For the past several years, we’ve worked to strengthen our response to people living with HIV in Ontario and to perfect the ways that the community is engaged in our work.  At last year’s Annual Meeting, our Members and delegates living with HIV told us that we should move forward with the creation of the Advisory Committee. Since this time, the OAN Board has worked with community members to finalize the Committee’s terms of reference (TOR) and guidelines for recruitment. We’ve also started the orientation process and expect to hold the first full meeting of the Advisory in early September. 

The Advisory Committee also includes two Board members of the OAN, Gord Asmus from the East and Les Bowman from the West. Both Les and Gord have come full circle with the Advisory Committee and bring a depth of experience and history with the OAN. We’d like to offer our thanks to both for stewarding this process over the past year and look forward to welcoming Board member Randy Davis to the Committee later in the year. We’d also like to thank Kerolos Saleib and Viviana Santibanez for their leadership throughout the planning, recruitment, and orientation process. 

We asked our Committee members why they wanted to be involved, and they told us the following: 

  • I am excited to be a part of this new chapter in the OAN’s ongoing dedication to the principles of GIPA/MEPA.  
  • What excited me the most to be part of the group is being the voice of the Latino community living with HIV in Ontario.
  • I am excited because I look forward to adding value to my community and learn and grow in the process. 
  • My excitement is meeting and working with special, honest, and lovely people.
  • Being part of the conversation for positive change in the HIV sector.
  • As a queer, poz , newcomer and person of colour, the opportunity to sit on this Committee provides the opportunity to contribute, in a leadership capacity, to the work of the OAN and the wider poz community.
  • To have a voice for Women and to engage with peers and affect change.  
  • Getting to work with, and learn from, my wonderful peers to be a voice for people living with HIV.
  • I would be happy to serve with other members at that Committee by bringing my experience from Africa in HIV related activities.
  • Sharing and learning from other Committee members, and advocacy.
  • I would like to bring to the OAN my skills in project management and be the voice of the communities to the agency.
  • I will seek social justice and inclusion and be together with other members to deal with discrimination.

Join us in welcoming these eleven incredible leaders.